Going on holiday? Flying for family matters? Need to fly with your baby? Yeah, I know the feeling. Before our first flight with our son, I did not know what to expect. Everyone gave me their own experiences and advice which just made me fear the flight even more. But now looking back I do not know why I was so worried, I followed my mommy instincts and as I have flown before by myself I knew what a flight entailed, I knew how small the toilets in the aircraft were and I planned and packed accordingly.
I am not here to tell you what you should do or what you should pack, you should still follow your mommy instincts 100%, these are however a few guidelines to ease your mind.
1. Pack smart
You are allowed limited on-board luggage so you need to pack everything you need for yourself and your baby in one bag, I know this could seem like a difficult task as we all know babies have a lot of necessary items (including toys to keep them busy). Do not take a hand bag and a baby bag, pack all your personal items in the front pouches of your baby bag such as your cell phone, purse and flight documents. For your baby, take enough nappies on board (this depends on how long your flight is), instead of a large pack of wipes take a smaller pack. Pack only two favorite toys (there will be other things in the aircraft to take your baby’s attention such as the belt and brochure cards), at least that’s what happened in my experience.
2. Timing of your flight
This is very important especially if your infant is in routine. when we departed our flight left around 9 AM which was great as this is the time my son has his morning nap, I was able to give him breakfast at home and by the time we took off he was asleep, our flight was two hours long so he did not sleep the whole flight, but that nap did help and when he woke he was a happy bubbly baby. When we returned home, our flight departed at 7 AM, this messed up his whole day as it is usually the time he wakes up, however, this day he had woken at 5 AM. I had to try and give him breakfast in the aircraft which was not an easy task as he was more interested in what was going on around him, this caused him to be slightly cranky, I offered him the breast and he drank however still intrigued with the air hostesses walking up and down and the slight bump here or there. This is why timing is a huge factor, plan according to your infants routine.
3. Do not pay for an extra seat
When flying with your baby, book him/her in as a lap infant, the only thing I did though was asked to be booked in a stretch zone, these are the seats that have more leg room, which allows you to have more room to move and also allows for a more comfortable flight. If you are lucky, and the flight is not fully booked, this is a great advantage, if someone has been booked in next to you they will opt to move to another vacant seat as they either do not want to be seated next to a baby or they give you the extra seat for your baby to have his/her own seat. This is what happened with us on both occasions, my baby was not irritated from being in the arms all the time and he had space to play.
4. Air Pressure
Don’t worry. If you are breastfeeding, just offer baby the breast (remember to dress in layers for easy breastfeeding coverage), if not offer the bottle on the
5. Do not be afraid to ask for help
The flight attendants are there to help in any way they can. Need hot water for your baby’s bottle, forgot a spoon to feed your baby, flying alone with your baby and need the bathroom?? Ask your flight attendant they will be more than willing to help you, that’s what they there for, to make your flight a pleasant one. Don’t be shy or embarrassed, some of them are mothers themselves and fully understand what you going through.
These are the main guidelines I would suggest to follow, remember to use your own initiative and go according to your and your baby’s personal needs. You are a mommy and you will know exactly what to do. Just enjoy your flight and holiday with your baby, take many photos and leave with great memories! Every moment is worth it.